I’m currently at the Fetzer Institute in Kalamazoo, Michigan, attending a meeting on the “current state of contemplative practices in the U.S.” Tomorrow is a travel day… a long one! I’m headed back to Santa Fe by train, a journey which will take about 30 hours. Unfortunately, there is no internet access on the Southwest Chief.
I may not get to post the “quote of the week” this time around, but I’d love to hear which socially engaged Buddhist you’d nominate for the next time we have a quote (which I usually post on Sunday or Monday). And if you have a favorite quote from that person, please share that too.
If you’d like to see the archive of past quotes, take a look here: https://jizochronicles.wordpress.com/category/quotes/
I've been practicing and studying the Buddha way since 1994, and exploring the question "What is engaged Buddhism?" since the late 90s.
As former executive director of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship and editor of its journal, Turning Wheel, I had the honor of meeting and working with many practitioners of engaged dharma, including Roshi Joan Halifax, Joanna Macy, Alan Senauke, and Robert Aitken Roshi.
I write about socially engaged Buddhism on my blog, "The Jizo Chronicles," as well as on the theme of personal and collective freedom on my website, "The Liberated Life Project." Through my Five Directions Consulting, I offer support to individuals and organizations who aspire to integrate awareness into their work.
By the way, if you’d like to follow my tweets on Twitter about the Fetzer meeting, visit here: http://twitter.com/fivedirections
I found this today while looking up appropriate responses to help some community members come to terms with the prosecution of a friend who had taken a wrong turn unbeknownst to her friends… could she have made different choices? Could they have brought her to her senses if only they had known what she was doing? And how easily any one of us could be in her shoes… a weak moment, a mistep, one thing leads to another and then… !
While many of us may be uncomfortable with the consequences of her actions, needless to say, every action has consequences and despite our concern for her well being there is only so much we can do to control the turning wheel now that it is hurtling downhill with such momentum… she must have known this, yet she gave it the push… what a generous reminder to us all!
Anyway, this was found on http://viewonbuddhism.org/karma.html. and is an excerpt of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s classic “Wherever You Go, There You Are” It’s kind of basic but for me today, beautifully put… change is always available to us in every moment, with every choice, for better or for worse.
“Karma is often wrongly confused with the notion of a fixed destiny. It is more like an accumulation of tendencies that can lock us into particular behavior patterns, which themselves result in further accumulations of tendencies of a similar nature….But it is not necessary to be a prisoner of old karma….
Here’s how mindfulness changes karma. When you sit, you are not allowing your impulses to translate into action. For the time being, at least, you are just watching them. Looking at them, you quickly see that all impulses in the mind arise and pass away, that they have a life of their own, that they are not you but just thinking, and that you do not have to be ruled by them. Not feeding or reacting to impulses, you come to understand their nature as thoughts directly. This process actually burns up destructive impulses in the fires of concentration and equanimity and non-doing. At the same time, creative insights and creative impulses are no longer squeezed out so much by the more turbulent, destructive ones. They are nourished as they are perceived and held in awareness.”